What did you cut on your Shapeoko/ Nomad today?

Please see:

Really impressed with the results from a new bit I bought from Amana for face milling aluminum. It would have been a very expensive paper weight if it didn’t work well with the Shapeoko 5 and VFD Spindle. Next up I’ll be turning the shiny hunk of aluminum into paddle shifters.


Can you post details of the Amana face mill and the feeds and speeds you had success with?

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This was with the Amana RC-3402. Apparently I didn’t save the file but I think I was running it at 10,000 RPM at 60"/min. I think I did 2 passes at .010". I haven’t done any tweaking yet because the first try worked so well but there seems to be a lot of flexibility if you’re conservative with your depth of cut. With the 1.625" cutting diameter the facing is pretty quick although it looks ridiculous on a 1/4" shank.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of options that would fit in an ER11 collet and use replaceable inserts.


Single line in a spiral with a V-bit. The Z depth dictates the width of the line. Was pleasantly surprised when you get about 20+ feet away it becomes as clear as a photo.

So far the best results have actually been in some scraps for dry erase marker white board.


This is so very cool!
How did you go about this process?

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Cool! I’d like to know more as well. Is this all cut in one pass where the Z was varying on the fly? (I’m not sure any Carbide software can do this but I’m really interested if you found it possible.) Or separate passes for different depths. What software did you use? Christopher Walken?

Very cool!! (But it could use more cowbell) :smiley:


I was thinking that exact thing this morning when I saw it.

It is all using Carbide software with an advanced v-carve. I will post more details when I’m at my computer later tonight.


Hey Adam, What font is that?

I need more cow bell!!!

That is very neat! Would like more info aswell

  • Find an image. Higher contract images seem to work the best
  • Go to https://spiralbetty.com/
  • Process your image and tweak the settings as you like
  • Download the image as an SVG (vector)
  • Open Carbide Create, make a new file and import the SVG (my sample is 10"x10")
  • Create an Advanced VCarve path
  • I found that a depth of 1.25mm seems to work well. You could go a little deeper possibly, but the width of the line limits the depth it goes anyway.
  • Off to the races carving. I have found that the samples I have done take about 12-18m but could probably be sped up quite a bit.

I have also found that this does not work well on something like plywood or soft wood like pine. I had the best luck with dry erase white board material. It has a pretty good laminate on the top and is manufacture wood underneath. Plus it’s white on top and dark underneath which gives the perfect contrast for the carve.

The finished products have amazed me on the clarity. Up close it looks like garbilygook, but gets better as you step back. At about 20+ ft it’s almost like a photo.

An added bonus is that on the 5 Pro it makes the machine make noise like a weird carnival piano.


Thank you for the step by step instructions. Again, great work.


Today, I dedicated my efforts to crafting a new fixture plate for my SO5 2x4. In the process, I machined away approximately 165 cubic inches of aluminum. A valuable lesson was learned the hard way—regular pauses for vacuuming and or the safeguarding of electrical connections on the front right of the machine are essential. The accumulation of chips reached a point where the connections on the front plate PCB became shorted and stopped the running program.


Hinges for EMT pipe. I’m making a cover / carport / boatport for our boat. Needed hinges for the frame, and can’t find anything commercially, so I just made them.


I finally finished some plaques for the Gingerbread House contest in my 8 year old twin boy’s Cub Scout pack.

I originally intended for these to be a bit taller and went looking for suitable lumber at Lowes but could not find decent planks large enough. I didn’t want to use my stock of walnut and didn’t want to do glueups. So, I ended up picking up a read oak stair tread that was about 3’ long by 12" by just over 1" thick. They had white oak as well but it was twice as expensive. I knew that the grain in red oak could be problematic but decided to try anyway.

Spend hours on the design :wink:
Cut the tread
Paint the wood white
Cover in shelf liner
Do a cut, realize that the design had real issues which caused the perimeter of the hand to be messed up and the letters to be real bad.
Spend more hours on the design.
Get another stair tread since I needed to cut 3 and was now short.
Cut and Hope.
Fill the candy canes and peppermints with red epoxy
Remove the liner and cleanup.
Paint the gumdrops and then coat them with glitter glue to provide sparkle.
Touch up the white paint and then add poly.

The brass plates were my first attempt with the MCEtcher and that took a few tries to get it right.
I don’t know who is going to win so I made plates for all the dens and will add them the night of the contest.

I cut the perfect depth and shape recess in the plaque for the brass so it sits flush with the rest of the surface without showing the recess (too much).

Yes, I had some issues with some of the smaller letters. I think that was all due to the red oak and its tendency to splinter. I touched up a little with paint. Given that I have already WAAAY more hours into this than all the kids combined will invest in the contest I decided it was good enough.

I did use my branding iron to put my newly formed company logo on the back just in case I can generate a little word of mouth. Material cost is not too high, but the hours on this are.

Since the material is just over an inch think it stands up on its own, but I did put a couple of keyhole slots in the back.

I should have included the year on the brass plate so that these could be re-used from year to year.
Hopefully my kids den will win one of them.


Ho Ho Ho I can see Santa’s workshop is busy. It is that time of year.

Made this one on my Nomad 3 together with a mate for one of our mutual friends who recently became a dad. Our mutual friend is a bit of a Gyro Gearloose and with a bit of luck his kiddo will turn out the same. To nudge her in the right direction, we decided to make her some appropriately themed baby toys.

Started off with just a 6082 plate, 200x200mm (roughly the working area of the Nomad 3).

Milling took some trial and error; most of it was done with a Datron single flute 6mm, inside finishing was done with a 1/8 #102 square mill.

Laser-cut a plywood cover to make it look like they were screws in wood, and to engrave/write on later.

Cutting the shapes from an old tabetop.

Added some Wera coathangers for handles, engraved the plywood and switched to countersunk bolts to keep everything in place. All screws/bolts are loctited firmly in place so they don’t become a choking hazard. We thought about using paint/lacquer on the wood to make it look prettier but since there’s probably going to be a lot of chewing on stuff involved we decided to just leave the wood bare.